Transition Traditional PMO to an Agile Center of Excellence | Platinum Edge

by Jason Gardner (ed.)

As organizations strive to keep up with the ever-changing business landscape, they are turning to Agile methodologies to increase efficiency, speed, and flexibility in their operations. To effectively implement Agile methodologies, companies rely on their Project Management Office (PMO) to lead the way. However, many PMOs are still stuck in a compliance-focused mindset, leading to a disconnect between Agile teams and the PMO. This is where the transition from compliance to enablement as an Agile Center of Excellence (ACE) comes into play. In this blog post, we’ll provide practical steps for PMOs to make this transition successfully.

Step 1: Create a Shared Understanding of Agile

To establish a common understanding of Agile methodologies and create alignment across the PMO and Agile teams, it’s essential to provide training on Agile principles and practices. Offer coaching to PMO teams to help them understand how their roles will change, and provide Agile training for Agile teams to ensure they operate within the same framework as the PMO. This shared understanding will create greater efficiency and collaboration between teams, driving project success.

Step 2: Collaborate with Agile Teams

To enable Agile teams to work with greater speed and flexibility, the PMO must play a supporting role rather than a controlling one. In this new approach, PMOs provide guidance and expertise in Agile methodologies, tools, and techniques, giving Agile teams the autonomy needed to deliver on their goals. The PMO acts as a facilitator in developing best practices, establishing governance structures, and monitoring progress towards Agile transformation goals collaboratively.

Step 3: Establish Governance and Metrics

To maintain oversight and ensure the successful implementation of Agile methodologies across the organization, the PMO must define governance structures and establish metrics for measuring success. Develop governance procedures that create guidelines, policies, and procedures that Agile teams can follow when designing, developing, and deploying new applications. Make sure that policies and procedures are not overly prescriptive so that teams can adapt to their unique needs.  Establish consistent metrics and KPIs to measure the success of Agile teams, quickly identify impediments, and to evaluate the overall success of transformation initiatives.

Step 4: Develop a Communication Plan

Successful Agile transformation requires consistent, clear communication across teams and leadership. Create a communication plan that provides regular and reliable updates to all stakeholders about the progress of the Agile transformation initiative. Ensure that the communication is two-way, allowing for feedback and input from all parties. Such feedback and input enable the PMO to stay informed about progress and successes throughout the organization, making it easier to identify opportunities for improvement.  This reduces any miscommunication, and every party should be on the same page in terms of changes as it pertains to the transformation.

Step 5: Refine and Adjust

Agile transformation is an iterative process that requires continuous improvement. It is essential to refine and adjust the approach based on results to ensure success. Here the PMO should gather feedback from Agile teams, leadership, and other stakeholders to identify areas for improvement, then adapt, iterate, and improve the Agile transformation approach over time.


A successful agile transformation requires the PMO to transition from focusing on compliance to enablement and become a center of excellence supporting the organization’s Agile goals. To make this transition, the PMO must work collaboratively with Agile teams to create a shared understanding of Agile methodologies, develop governance structures, establish metrics, outline procedures, and develop a communication plan. So, organizations that successfully transition their PMOs to Agile Center of Excellence will benefit from improved efficiency, agility, and overall organizational performance, making it a vital step in this digital age.


We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website.

You can find out more about which cookies we are using here.